Juan Williams—Reality check dude
October 22, 2010
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Should Juan Williams have been fired by NPR for his comments on Fox News earlier in the week? Was it right? Fair? I don’t know if Mr. William’s statements about Muslims on airplanes were unethical or insensitive. But that’s not really germane. NPR can hire and fire employees within legal bounds like any other broadcast organization. NPR made numerous cuts for financial reasons earlier in the year and misters Williams, O’Reilly and Boehner were silent on those dismissals.
In the real world, companies fire people every day. These guys who claim to represent the “American people” ought to know that and spend their energy discussing more critical issues than Mr. Williams’ job status. There’s no freedom of speech, censorship question here. NPR management decided an employee doesn’t meet the requirments of the job. “Poof! You’re fired.” Mr. Williams is completely free to say whatever he wants. In fact, with his new fat contract from Fox he will be better compensated to do so.
Mr. Williams post-dismissal comments are petty. If NPR constrained his ability to function as a journalist for these past several years, he was free to speak up and seek employment elsewere. He has had a very successful and high-profile career: now it’s time for Mr. Williams for grow up.